Frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19

 

  • Does the airline hold the responsibility to refund the price of the ticket if the flight is cancelled because of extraordinary circumstances?
  • Will there be refunds for cancelled flights?
  • How long until I receive my refund?
  • Do I have to agree with other suggestions offered by the airline? 

We ask airlines and passengers to be understanding. The companies can offer to change the time of the trip, the consumers have the right to agree upon a different date, but if they don't want to, they can ask for a refund. 
It must be taken into an account that the number of cancelled flights is large, that's why the refund can't happen right away, and the requests will be considered one by one as received. 

  • Can the tour operator allow for the trip to be cancelled, rescheduled or offer another solution? 

If, due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, it is necessary for the tour operator to change the dates of the travel, the tour operator must inform the traveller on time
The traveller has the right to:
1. accept the proposed changes
  or
2. terminate the Contract without paying any termination fee.

If the traveller wishes to terminate the contract and the tour operator offers an alternative to package travel (such as a gift card, voucher, other travel offers), the traveller can agree to the offered solutions.
Given the state of emergency, the CRPC urges consumers to be understanding, evaluate and accept proposed changes or other alternative solutions.

  • What to do if the traveller doesn't want to accept the alternatives offered by the tour operator?

If the traveller denies alternative offers and wants to terminate the contract, the traveller has a right to receive back all expenses. 
Taking into an account that the cancellation or changing of the dates is connected to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, it has to be clarified that force majeure does not relieve the parties of their obligations, but justifies their non-fulfilment during the period of force majeure, the CRPC requests the parties to come to an agreement. At the same time, according to the CRPC, the tour operator must reimburse the traveller any sums paid after the extraordinary circumstances have ended.

  • What are the rights of the traveller if the holiday has taken place but has not been completed in full?

If the package travel happened but traveller didn’t receive, some of the package travel services, the traveller is entitled to a price reduction but is not entitled to compensation if the non-compliance is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, the CRPC calls on travellers to be understanding and agree with the tour operator on price reduction options and alternative solutions.

  • What should the traveller do with the remaining money if a contract has been finalised for the package travel services, a down payment has been made and according to the terms of the contract, it is time to make the second payment but it is not known if the trip is going to happen?

The decision whether to make the next payment or not, according to the terms of the contract, should be concluded by the traveller. The CRPC advises the traveller to contact the tour operator and/or travel agent before making decision and to find a solution to this situation, for example by postponing payment after the emergency has ended.

* The explanation of the CRPC may change if regulatory changes are adopted or recommendations of the European Commission are received. Information from the European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_485 

  • Will my tickets be refunded?
  • How quick should the organizer issue the new dates for the events?
  • In what case should the organizer refund the tickets?

Current information: http://www.ptac.gov.lv/lv/news/informacija-par-parceltajiem-pasakumiem
Information about the postponed events must be published as soon as possible after the end of emergency situation, but no later than over the course of six months. That doesn't mean that all postponed events must be held within those six months.
In the case that the event can't be postponed, and it will be cancelled, within reason, the consumers will be offered to get a ticket to another event or a refund according to the Consumer rights protection law. Remember that in the case of a refund, the consumer will get the money for the tickets, but not paid commission price. Because if there has been added commission price, it was for the services that consumer already received.

  • If the child does not attend the PPS for safety reasons, can the school or kindergarden ask for any payment?

In this case the response depends on the rules set by the board members and the terms of contract, for example, if the contract involves a sentence like this: "The Parties shall not be liable for failure to perform their obligations under the Contract in the event of force majeure rendering impossible the performance of this Contract or the action of the Parties. For the purposes of this Agreement, "force majeure" means natural disasters, military operations of any nature, epidemics and other exceptional factors not foreseeable by the Parties at the time of implementation of this Agreement." - then in the case of emergency situation, the consumer doesn't have to pay the price and the school is not available for children - the contract is suspended for the time being. After the end of the emergency situation, both sides agree to renew the terms of the contract.

If the kindergarten is closed, then the price should be reduced for the time being.

For additional questions, including the closure of kindergartens, please consult the National Education Quality Service and the Ministry of Education and Science websites:

  • Due to the spread of the virus and measures of self-protection, is the gym responsible for the return of the membership?
  • Can gym require payment for freezing of the contract, taken into an account that it is frozen because of emergency circumstances.
  • Is it required to return money for half a month if the membership is for a month?

Unless the government has taken additional measures, stating that some services are not allowed, and if the service provider ensures that the current conditions of not more than 50 people are present, the membership is still in force. If the consumer does not wish to visit the gym or the swimming pool, the terms of the contract shall apply and, in this case, the parties may agree to suspend the performance of the contract, taking into account that there is a national emergency.
If a gym or swimming pool decides to discontinue the service itself, it should not charge consumers for the period during which the service is not provided. The execution of the contract in this case shall be revised and ensured after the end of the emergency.

The CRPC monitors the behaviour of traders, assessing whether price changes are disproportionate and whether traders are acting in an unfair manner. The extent to which this situation responds to market demand / supply conditions and what measures should be taken to prevent unfair exploitation of the situation are currently being assessed.

In the case of necessity CRPC contacts the traders to clarify the situation and to insist not to exploit the situation in a dishonest way. At the same time, the CRPC urges consumers to be careful, observant and reasonable when evaluating offers of various goods or services and making decisions about their purchase.

Credit Repayment: If because of an emergency situation (reduced income, incapacity, etc.)  the consumer may be late on their payments, CRPC asks to contact the creditors and other parties to agree on the best solution. The CRPC cannot influence the creditors' decision but calls on both parties to be aware of the situation and to reduce or eliminate sanctions as much as possible, as well as to propose changes to the loan repayment terms by reducing the monthly payment.

Borrowing: Due to the emergency situation and its consequences, especially for groups of consumers who have no savings, the CRPC foresees an increase in loans. We urge consumers to carefully consider the need for taking a credit, especially those who have lost their jobs or are at high risk of losing their jobs. There is a strong likelihood that creditors will not be aware of the loss of the consumer's source of income, because assessment of the ability to repay loans takes into account the consumer's past income,  this may result in loans being given to persons who will not be able to afford them. The CRPC warns that credit taken at such a moment may become a non-performing payment obligation in the future and calls on consumers to seek other solutions to overcome the difficulties.

Because of the emergency situation new offers are created, but they are not always profitable or necessary for the consumers. For example, the signals received indicate that older people receive delivery offers for significantly higher costs. The CRPC warns consumers to be attentive and look out for service providers whose services are disproportionately expensive or suspicious. The CRPC will keep track of new offers and services and assess their commercial practices. The CRPC warns that penalty is up to EUR 100,000 for the implementation of unfair commercial practices.